How to spot counterfeit DVDs, Movies, TV..

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When looking to buy a dvd on eBay, the number one question most buyers ask is, "Is this DVD a bootleg, copy, or fake?" or "Is this dvd on dvdr/dvd-r?". I hope this guide can be of help, and may save some questions, and help you feel more confident when searching/bidding on dvds.

Note: Region 0 is also known as Multi-Region, All Region, Region Free.
Region 2 is the offical format for the UK, however some DVD Players can accept Region 0 DVDs.

What to look out for

  • The region code - Region 2 DVDs are for the UK, any other region might not play on your dvd player (see your dvd manual). eBay item descriptions should list the region code. DVD Pirates often leave the region field blank or write region 0, however some may put region 2 in the hope that you do not understand region codings. If the description states region 0, check with another reputable online retailer to see what regions are available for that title, if the retailer sells as region 2 the region 0's are fake.

  • "Cover has asian characters" - If the dvd is listed as Region 2 or Region 1 it should not have asian characters, if it is listed as Region 0 or Region 3 it may contain these characters.
  • "Imported" - If it is Region 2 it should not be imported. This is a popular term used for counterfeit dvds. If it says Asian, China, or Malaysia import its best to avoid.
  • NTSC Format - Region 2 DVDs should not be in NTSC format (Except dvds from Japan), but in PAL format. However most UK DVD Players accept both formats but its an eay way from an eBay description to see if a dvd is genuine.
  • "Cover may be different from listing picture" or "Same cover as UK Shops" - If this is stated in the description, I would suggest you avoid the auction. As the seller will not want to put the real picture on as the item is not genuine, and so will use another picture from the web.
  • "Compatible with region 2 dvd players" - This again says to me the dvd is not genuine. The word 'compatible' sets off the alarm bells, especially if no region coding is stated in the item specifics (image above).
  • "DVD has removable subtitles" - pirated dvds often have subtitles that by default are turned on when playing, but can be turned off. This is a phrase again that bootleg sellers will use in descriptions.
  • "DVD comes in a case"or "DVD comes with artwork" - of course thats how we want them! but pirate sellers will use those phrases because they have had to purchase the case/artwork seperately.
  • DVD5, DVD9, DVDR - If there are no region codings given in the description but one of the words DVD5, DVD9, or DVDR (might contain a dash between characters), then it is likely to be counterfeit.
  • Pre-order - It is becoming more popular for pirate sellers to use the term pre-order for films not officially released, however they have a cinema recording they will send you but use the word pre-order to avoid listing violation.

Don't let words like "New & Sealed" make you think the item is genuine. It's very easy to buy shrink wrap! So check out the above to make sure.

Finally, before even thinking about putting in a bid check the sellers feedback, and not just the buying feedback for the seller as you want to see previous buyers comments. If their feedback is private you have to ask yourself why...

If you see it, report it! If you come across or have purchased any counterfeit items please report them by Contacting eBay.

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